Tag Archives: book Marketing

An Angry Rant from a (Very) Dissatisfied Customer

14 Jan

Hey Bell Media! And The Source! And Apple! Well actually, here’s a call out to Mr. George Cope , CEO of Bell Media Canada, and Mr. Tim Cook , present CEO of Apple. (You gentlemen DO have a Google alert set up on your names and companies, right?) You look like very nice men and obviously you are both very savvy computer/tech/ business guys to have gotten where you are, so I’m hoping you will see past my “mad” in this rant, and take notice of my complaint therein. This may be of some interest to you ….

Here’s the scoop: I am a confirmed PC user who over the past 2 years has been slowly converting to Apple, via my iphone (gift from the kids), and MacPro laptop (gift from Hot Stuff Hubby). All through this past Christmas, I was receiving emails from The Source (and I’m not gonna link that, ‘cause I’m mad at The Source, too, so won’t be sending any readers to that site via ‘the Source’s’ link!). Anyhoo, the emails were advertising the Apple 16 GB ipad mini 3 (in the new color of gold, no less) for $99! My books to this point had been available exclusively on Amazon, but I was toying with the idea of also putting them in Apple’s online store, intending to write my next book directly on my ipad mini.

I tried to order one online. Nope. Stores only.

I phoned my local ‘The Source’ store (2 of them, actually) only to be told that the special was only for a handful of select stores in all of Canada (and we’re a damn big country). However, I was told that I could have my local store order one in, as long as I agreed to sign a 2 year contract with Bell for the device. Hell, yessiree, I’ll do that!

Three weeks later, (yesterday actually) I got the call from a very nice employee at ‘The Source’ store, telling me my ipad mini 3 had arrived and that I should come on down to sign up for the Bell contract. Now, apart from my job as a writer, my day job is that of a self-employed sole charge physiotherapist in a busy clinic. This means that I had to clear my schedule of patients for a one and a half hour slot (mucho lost income) to go do this. No matter. I wanted the mini. No more lugging the comparatively HEAVY Macbook Pro around on holidays with me so I could continue to write whilst away.

Well, jumping to the conclusion of this sad story, after several attempts, the nice man at The Source was unable to get me signed up. He put in a call to some kind of Help line and was told that he would be unable to sign me up for a contract with Bell because I had not had a cellular contract with Bell within the last 90 days.

HUH???

Well, says I, I have NEVER had a cellular contract with Bell, let alone within the last 90 days, but hey, that’s why I’m here – I WANT to become a Bell customer and I’m fricking frothing at the mouth to sign a 2 year contract with them so I can have my wonderful, light-as-a-feather, portable-as-hell ipad mini 3.

C’mon, C’MON, GIVE ME THE CONTRACT – WHERE DO I SIGN??

Help line guy says, yeah you can sign her up but only for the full purchase price of the mini 3 – an outrageous sum of just pennies under $600 CAD). Not available no way, no how, for the advertised price of $99. And apparently ‘The Source’ is only allowed to sell Apple products in conjunction with Bell contracts.

Besides seeming to me, to be just short of a fraudulent marketing ploy (as there was no disclaimer or restrictions policy outlined anywhere other than to say “see local store for details”), this is an EPIC MARKETING FAILURE. Not only did Apple and The Source and Bell fail to make a sale (albeit a small one, but still…) but they now have an unhappy customer who writes. And blogs. And who has followers who will share. (You will, right?)

Now I want to compare this to Apple’s biggest competitor, AMAZON and the amazing marketing move of Jeff Bezos . Amazon has sold its tablets AT COST to customers, who then become Amazon converts and buy a bazillion dollars worth of stuff from Amazon, more than making up for the mark-up loss incurred with the sale of the tablet.

PURE. MARKETING. GENIUS.

(Hey Jeff, if you’re reading this, feel free to leave a comment!)

Just thought I’d share this tip with you Bell Media, The Source, and Apple. Give it some thought.

Oh, and if any of you afore-mentioned three want to make amends and make the $99 purchase with 2 year contract happen for me, well, I’m willing to bury the hatchet. And I’d blog about that, too.

In the meantime, I’m feeling as snarly and revengeful about this whole thing as Mrs. Hanley was when she made her infamous stew, which revolted some readers (“Eeww! I can’t believe she did that!”), and enthralled others (“OMG! I just LOVE Mrs. Hanley and this story! I can’t believe she did that!”).

The stew scene is in Chapter 73 in QUINTSPINNER – A PIRATE’S QUEST.

Quintspinner - A Pirate's Quest

Quintspinner – A Pirate’s Quest

 

For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, why not buy the book? (C’mon, you KNOW the suspense and the curiosity is now gonna drive you crazy, don’cha?)

It’s $.99. On Amazon everywhere.

That’s 99 cents, not even $99 (dollars) like the mystical, non-accessable-to-me-ipad mini 3 offer. And I bet you’re gonna LOVE Mrs. Hanley’s stew scene!

There. I feel (slightly) better now. I’m going to charge up my little ASUS PC netbook (which is pretty portable and which has a wonderfully responsive keyboard) and then I’m off to compare Amazon tablets because I have a reading/writing holiday coming up …. Thanks for listening.

 

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The 12 Blogs of Christmas – Guest Post by Wendy McClelland

23 Dec
The 12 Blogs of Christmas

The 12 Blogs of Christmas

As we settle into Christmas Eve, I’m so pleased to be able to host this wonderful post by Wendy McClelland, a hugely successful entrepreneur, and highly skilled author and storyteller. Wendy”s post is titled “A Christmas Love Story” and I’m certain you’ll enjoy it.

Wendy McClelland photo

Wendy McClelland Bio:

Wendy McClelland is a business pioneer; as one of the first small businesses to get online in the mid 1990’s, her first website was chosen by the NY Times as “one of the best biz sites on the ‘net”. She is an award winning entrepreneur as well as a past nominee for “Canadian Entrepreneur of the Year”. She has spoken to over 10,000 people in live audiences throughout western Canada and the U.S. Wendy’s newest project is her book “27 Steps to Freedom – What Learning to Walk Again Taught me About Success in Business & Life” is a story of rebuilding her life after a near fatal illness. You can buy Wendy’s book and get 17 BONUSES with purchase – http://27stepstofreedom.com/book-launch-bonuses/

I’m really thrilled Martin Crosbie asked me to participate with him and eleven great authors to share Christmas stories.

I’m honored to be working with ML GardnerDianne GreenlayRJ Crayton, Jennifer EllisHelga ZeinerRoberta Kagan Author, Heather HaleyJamie Lee ScottSarah Lane and Laurie E. Boris.

 

A Christmas Love Story (12 Days of Christmas Blog Hop) by Wendy McClelland

I remember 1967 really well. It was Canada’s centennial – our country was 100! My parents had a fun backyard BBQ party and the whole neighbourhood came. The party went on well into the early hours of the morning. I’ll never forget seeing my parents dance together. We never know when we are experiencing something for the last time – especially as a child. That would be the last summer my mother would be alive.

As the fall approached, I started back to school and was a carefree eight year old, with three younger siblings. My parents Brian and Eileen adored each other and loved us. They were both originally from the UK, but had met in Toronto at a house party. When my dad first saw her he turned to his friend and said, “I’m going to marry that girl.” Sure enough, less than a year later they were married.

Ten years and four children later they were building a life together. Then in early winter, my mom began to feel ill, by late November she was gone. She had been feeling tired and went to the doctor. He asked her to wait in his office, called my dad at his office and had him come in. He told my mom she had leukemia and had less than two weeks to live! Can you imagine? You are only thirty years old, and have four children under eight years old. I remember feeling like the bottom had fallen out of my child’s world, I cannot imagine what she felt.

Read more – http://wendymcclelland.com/a-christmas-love-story/

Links:

 

Amazon Author Page (all books):  http://www.amazon.com/author/wendymcclelland

Facebook Fan Page (daily inspiration and motivation) http://www.Facebook.com/WendyJMcClelland

Websites: http://www.WendyMcClelland.com               http://www.27StepstoFreedom.com

 

 

Damn Fine Stuff!

25 Mar

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I once had an old aunt who, in her youth had been quite a fire cracker. Years later, in the twilight of her life, she was still a confident, opinionated, and quite deaf old gal, but a bundle of entertainment to be around.

Most notably, she had a signature expression of everything that was to her liking, as being “Damn fine stuff” – as in music she liked: “Now that’s damn fine music!”, or in a sip of the ol’ medicinal: “Now that’s a damn fine drink!”, or (my favorite) in judgment of a particular lifeguard’s overall build: “Now that’s a damn fine piece of beautiful walking past us right there!”

Like I said, she was deaf, not blind…

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She passed away at the end of March several years ago, and I can’t help but think of her at this time of year, and so, in borrowing her phrase, I’d like to introduce you to some Damn Fine Stuff.

It just so happens that I am a part of the eNovel Author March Book Frenzy.  It’s an 8 author multi-blog (55 stops at last count, yup – NOT a typo. Fifty-five stops) that is running this week, March 27th through to March 30th. There are several amusing and revealing posts by the authors, book give-aways, and contests with cash prizes to be entered into. Here’s the link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/YTQ1NWM3Zjk2MGMzZTg0ZThhYTIzYWJlNDcwMWUxOjI3/

You can find details for all of this incredibly Damn Fine Stuff here: http://fabulosityreadsbookpromotions.blogspot.ca/p/enovel-authors-march-book-frenzy.html

And free and give-away and cash is always good, isn’t it?

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G’wan. Check it out. You know you wanna’… (Did I mention it was FREE stuff??)

Oh, and by the way, here is one of those entertaining author posts by yours truly ( a little bit of personal history in it) http://fabulosityreads.blogspot.com/2014/03/10-things-i-wish-i-had-known-before-i.html

Hope to chat with you somewhere along the blog hop! –Dianne

Spreadin’ the Authorly Luv (A Short Cut to Book Marketing)

5 Mar

QuintspinnerAs promised, in my last post, here are the nuts and bolts of my last promotion on KDP Select. Keep in mind, that at this time of writing, Amazon has announced changes to its affiliate program – those sites sending buyers over to Amazon’s free ebooks will no longer be paid for referrals above a certain number ( I think it was 20,000) and for the uber-large, super popular sites like Pixel of Ink, and eReadernews etc, this will probably affect the way they support authors wishing to be featured on the sites’ free pages.

Anyhoo, for now, here’s what I did to bring my KDP Select numbers up from around 2000 to over 14,000 free downloads of Quintspinner – A Pirate’s Quest. (Wanna see what those 14,000+ picked up? http://amzn.to/SvbVyx ).

From an original list supplied by best selling author, Martin Crosbie (http://martincrosbie.com/), here’s my list and notes(bolded) of sites that I accessed:

EBOOK PROMO sites that I used for Quintspinner for March 1st and 2nd KDP Select days.

Thanks to the Kindle Boards, we discovered a long list of places where self-published authors can promote their eBook for free.

We’ve collected more information about the sites in a simple directory below, linking to the submission pages for these eBook sites. If you are an avid eBook reader, these sites are great for finding new books to read as well….

Free Sites for eBook Promotion

Did free May 15/12. Pd is $15 or $5.Addicted to eBooks: “This website is perfect for readers like me, who want to watch their book budget. This website also allows the author to rate some of the content of their book. I want to know before I buy if a book the level of profanity, violence or sex in a book. I’m excited that authors can now rate their books for the readers.”

No cost. Applied Feb. 15/13 AppNewser Free eBooks of the Week: Our editors pick a few free eBooks every week. To submit email your pitch to appnewser [at] mediabistro [dot] com.

Has logos for several sites. Entered separately on this list. Author Marketing Club: “No longer do you have to dig up your links to the best places to submit your books. We’ve put them all together here for you in one spot. Just click on the logos below to load each site’s form, fill in your details, and you’re done.”

Pd $5 for “free ebook” and $5 for March 8 “Bargain” listing ; Pd $5 for Pixel Scroll March 1. Bargain eBook Hunter: “If your title is currently FREE on Amazon, we want to know about it! Simply use the Contact Form to let us know about your free title and we will consider listing it on our site. There is NO COST to you if you contact us and we choose to post your free book.  We accept all genres except erotica.”

Emailed her. She featured me. Books on The Knob: “Bargain reads, free ebooks and book reviews for the Amazon Kindle, nook, Kobo, Sony and other ereaders, Kindle Fire, nookColor, Kobo Vox, and other tablets, along with some games, music, technology and computers tossed in now and then.”

For NOOK only. Didn’t use. The Cheap: “This website was created in an attempt to let other Barnes and Noble NOOK users know that there really are plenty of deal priced books for NOOK readers. Here at the Cheap we, a group of deal scouting women, inform you of free and low-cost books. These change frequently so please be sure to check in often. We do our best to share only legitimate offers.”

Applied for free listing. Requires 18+ reviews and 4.4 rating. Has top 100 Best Free Kindle Book List and requirements may arbitrarily change to 20+ reviews. Digital Book Today: Includes both free and paid options for writers looking to promote.

Applied Feb. 25. eReader News Today: Features bargain Kindle books and free Kindle books.

UK site. $4 for day 1 and $2 for each day after that. Donated $8. Had to send info via email.  Flurries of Words: “we have both FREE and PAID advertising options (apologies but we do not accept porn or erotica books). There are currently five FREE advertising options available: 1) Free Book Find (for permanently or temporarily free books) 2) 99 Cent Book (for permanently or temporarily 99 cent books) 3) Bargain Deal (for books over $0.99 but under $4.99–either permanently or temporarily) 4) Indie New Releases (for books newly released within the past 30 days) … 5) BOOK OF THE DAY”

Submitted to Free service. Also has $50 or $100 choices which I didn’t use.  FreeBooksy: If you find an ebook you think our Freebooksy readers should know about please let us know in the form below. And if you are an author and you want to tell the world about your free ebook fill out the form in the Authors section and we’ll take a look at your book.

Frugal Reader: “Please use the form below to submit your FREE books to be considered for a featured FREEBIE post. Submitting your novel does not guarantee that your book will be featured. Please allow as much lead time as possible as I know these are limited time offers. Please note that I feature most genres, and while I may feature romance titles that include sexual scenes, I don’t feature titles that strictly fall under the erotica genre.”

Goodkindles: “we are a place where you post your own article about your title and can reach the readers. We do not review your book – we give you a platform to tell everyone what do you think is most interesting about your book and what you think will interest readers so much that they will go and buy your book.”

Kindle Daily Deal: “Let’s get the word out about your wonderful books on Kindle to my 13,000+ followers. I am a fellow author and I’d love to help promote your books. I enjoy reading as much as writing, and feel it’s important to support my friends. Currently, this service is FREE to you, but in return for adding your book(s), I’m hoping you reciprocate by buying my latest book containing funny essays about relationships…”

Applied for free listing. Free Kindle Books & Tips: “If you are an author and would like to have your book promoted (for free) on our site, please fill out the form below: your book must be free in the Amazon Kindle Store and must have an average user rating of at least 4 out of 5 stars for consideration.  Please note each book submitted cannot be promoted due to space limitations on a particular day, but if your book is selected we will contact you at the email address you provide below.”

$6 for 2 days. Pd via Amazon. Free eBooks Daily: “I love to hear from authors and readers! If you have a comment, suggestion, or free ebook you would like listed or if you just want to say hello, feel free to send me an email.”

GalleyCat Facebook Page: You can post your book in our New Books section, an easy way to share your book with our readers.

Indie Books List: “If you submit an excerpt with less than 1,500 words, we will delete it. Due to the high number of submissions we receive, we may not have time to email every person who submits a shorter excerpt to ask for another one. Please – look at your word count before uploading. If you would like to be considered for both Indie Books List, and Only Romance…you must submit using each site’s submission form. There are now two separate submission forms, when there used to be just one.”

Meet Our Authors Forum: A place on Amazon where writers can talk about their work.

Applied for the free listing. Pixel of Ink: “If your book will be listed as Free ($0.00) on Amazon.com in the next 30 days, then please let us know by filling out the form below. Pixel of Ink may attempt to feature your book

Set up membership . Applied for free listing.  World Literary Cafe.(link from Author Marketing Club)

Pd $5. For March 8th week listing. IBD (link from Author Marketing Club

Pd. $10 to be featured March 1st Awesome Gang. (link from Author Marketing Club)

Free listing for “free ebooks” for March 1 and 2 The eReader Cafe (link from Author Marketing Club)

List ON THE DAY THAT THE BOOK GOES FREE. Snickslist.com (link from Author Marketing Club) (will also be listed on YourBookAuthors.com)

Pd $35 for 2 weeks on Home Page Feature and $10 for free days (March 1 and 2) Book Goodies (link from Author Marketing Club)

Didn’t use as was too expensive Kindle Daily Nation.

Sent a request. Never heard back. eReader IQ

Couldn’t find signup The Digital Inkspot

Didn’t use www.dailycheapreads.com  as it looked like they post about free ebooks on Mondays and I found their site on a Tuesday, and my promo was running Friday, and Saturday.

I bought a www.BookBub.com  ad for March 2nd. Originally I asked for a listing under Historical Fiction ($140) but they emailed me back and said their editorial staff thought it would be a better fit under Action and Adventure ($60). Went with Action and Adventure.

Got a feature on www.FreeBookDude.com . They vet who they choose to promote but promote very well.

So, there were some twitter sites as well, that were part of the above sites promo deals – I retweeted those as well.

NOTE: setting this up is, at first overwhelming, and yes, it IS TIME-CONSUMING but to be successful, you have to invest the effort. I spent 2 full evenings emailing and filling in forms to get this promotion underway. Martin had done most of the work, in amassing most of these sites in an orderly manner, and he so generously and freely shared his lists. That’s the wonderful thing about Indie authorship in this day and age. We are all in it together. Helping each other out with lists, advice, tweets, etc. I’ve been a recipient of all of that authorly love. I’m just paying it forward. Hope you find this useful. 🙂

A 12 Step Program for Authors

3 Mar

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Hello, my name is Dianne Greenlay( remember me from my last post, way back, last fall?) and I am a techno-nimcompoop.

Well, I have just released another novel (released three new books, actually, but more about that further on.) and I have not been gone far, just been quietly in the background, soaking up all of the good advice from other authors’ blogs. And now it’s time to pay back.

One of the topics that is often discussed in the online world of authors is whether KDP Select has lost its effectiveness or not. I have used KDP’s free days twice in the past for my novel, QUINTSPIINNER  http://amzn.to/SvbVyx and had lukewarm success with that. There were 2100 downloads the first time and slightly less than that the second time. These results may have been due to my aforementioned state of nincompoopedness about such things, or maybe the type of story (but who, I ask you, who wouldn’t be interested in an edge-of-your-seat historical action novel with some hot romance thrown in?)However, never one to say “Whoa” in a tough spot, I have just come off of a two day promo ( my remaining 2 days) and THIS time I had over 14,000 downloads of QUINTSPINNER, and for the time it was free, it ranked #1 in the Free list for Fantasy, #3 in romance, #3 in action/adventure, #1 in Sea Adventures, and #1 in Teens. In view of this, I offer to share the following:

What I did:

  1. Read about successful authors and their thoughts on their blogs, like Debbie Young http://offtheshelfbookpromotions.wordpress.com/2013/02/21/how-to-sell-more-books-write-more-books/ and those who had amazing numbers of downloads with KDP (ie Martin Crosbie, BEST-SELLING author of MY TEMPORARY LIFE http://bit.ly/13yMhDE) , and Joel Friedlander’s one stop shopping advice blog Carnival of The Indies  http://bit.ly/XMMgs1 , and I often asked their advice.
  2. Followed said advice (mostly). I looked up an extensive list that had been passed on to me, of links to promo sites, and made my own list of notes as to which ones would be a good fit. Some sites require at least eighteen 4 and 5 star reviews (had that J), some require a couple of weeks’ lead time while others only a day or two.
  3. I did a promo push about 2 weeks before my KDP days, registering my free days on a mixture of free exposure sites, and also spending $150 on the paid-for sites. Some of this money went towards booking a couple of upcoming paid-for spots for book two in the Quintspinner series, DEADLY MISFORTUNE http://amzn.to/SvbVyx .
  4. Tweeted and retweeted the free announcement and links over the two days, probably annoying everyone of my twerps, but what the heck – I really wanted to make this work.
  5. Checked my download numbers compulsively. (I am a great believer in the power of positive thinking and I think I may have actually willed the numbers to keep going up.)

What I didn’t do:

  1. I didn’t do much Facebook connecting. I know there are many lovely and kind authors out there but it seems that most of my FB connections are just that – authors, not readers – and we all try to buy each other’s books, but really, my Kindle is nearly maxed out with books that I struggle to find the time to read, and I’m sure that I’m no exception (in between my day job, my writing time, and book marketing time, reading time for myself is a very guilty pleasure these days).
  2. I didn’t blog (it had been so long since I had been on my own blog that I forgot the darned username/password combo.)
  3. I didn’t have an email list. This is one thing that EVERYONE says is a “must-do” so I hopefully will have one built up for next time. (If you are reading this, there’s a ‘follow me’ button on the right hand side of this page. Go on. Sign up. You know you wanna’ …)

What I should have done:

  1. See afore-mentioned email list.
  2.  I wished that I had had more consecutive days to run the promo, but I didn’t want to commit to another 90 days with Amazon exclusively. The number of downloads built slowly at first, but rose faster, the longer I was into the 2 day promo. I wonder what the final numbers would have been if I had run it for 3 or even 5 consecutive days. I would recommend trying a long stretch of being free.
  3.  I wanted to change my book’s description through Author Central but couldn’t do it during the promo (system won’t let you). It did let me edit when the promo was over (better late than never I guess) and I added what I thought was a more engaging and intriguing style of description, and I also broke the former description into 3 smaller paragraphs. Way more inviting to the eye.

What I’m going to do:

  1.  I’m going to drop a quick thank you note to all of those who tweeted and posted on my behalf, even to those whom I paid (Hey, I’m Canadian. We’re polite to a fault.)
  2.  (Baker’s dozen here) I am going to move on. This means promoting my one act script (it’s a comedy) A One Act Script and short story form of THE CAMPING GUY Short Story Version in a new genre for me (humor) and get busy writing the final book (Book Three) in the Quintspinner series. Hit those links and maybe have a gander, would ya? (I said I was polite but not necessarily humble…)

Next post, later this week: I will post all of those clickable links that I used in my promo, for you. Right here. I promise.

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